Lieutenant-governor appoints Horgan as new premier
By Mercedes Deutscher, News Editor
After BC Legislature being held in limbo for seven weeks, it seems that government will finally be proceeding. But it’s not a government originally decided by the May 9 election.
In late May, the BC NDP and BC Green party formed an alliance, which would outnumber the seats held by the BC Liberal minority government. Despite this, and demands from the public for her resignation, Premier Christy Clark would not step down as leader of the party or concede to the BC NDP.
“They know the math doesn’t work. They know this house can’t function without a working majority,” Clark said to CBC.
Yet Clark’s words would turn around and spell uncertainty for her government, as both opposing parties and the public began to accuse her of choosing to hold government hostage rather than concede power.
“They are acting like belligerent children as they’re going into that time out,” Green Party leader Andrew Weaver said to MacLeans.
Upon returning to BC Legislature, the Liberals attempted to pass a ban on corporate donations. Despite it being a platform that both the NDP and Green party campaigned for, they defeated it 44–42.
Only days later, NDP leader John Horgan put forth a motion of non-confidence that, if passed, would result in the existing governing party falling. The vote took place on June 29, and it passed 44–42. All of the NDP and Green Party voted in favour, while the Liberals voted against the motion. It was the first passing non-confidence vote in the history of BC Legislature.
With the passing of the motion, Clark was required to meet with BC’s lieutenant-governor Judith Guichon and inform her of the results of the non-confidence vote. Guichon would have two options—either to dissolve government and force BC to have another election, or to call on the opposition party to form government.
Guichon didn’t take long to make her decision, and called on the NDP to form government. Guichon’s decision marked the end of the Liberal’s 16 year governance of BC Legislature.
John Horgan has not yet been sworn in as Premier, but is now Premier-designate.
The NDP have not governed since 2001, the year only 2 members of their party were elected after 10 years of NDP government from 1991–2001.
Yet the upcoming NDP government will not be able to pass legislature without the support of the Green party, who agreed to align with the NDP under the condition that they were given official party status (with three members, the Green party doesn’t meet the current quota of five members required to form an official party), that corporate donations in elections be prohibited, and that electoral reform is passed through legislature. As it stands, the NDP retains 41 seats in the legislature, and cannot overcome the 43 seats held by the Liberal’s without the Green’s three extra votes.
There is no set date on when the new Legislature will re-convene, but it will likely be in the next two to three weeks. Before that, a new cabinet will be sworn in, and Premier-designate Horgan plans to start the NDP’s governance as soon as possible.
Some of Horgan’s first actions as remier will be to start a commission that will lead to a $15 minimum wage, speak on behalf of the softwood lumber industry, re-evaluate the province’s approach to the fentanyl crisis and the housing crisis, and start a new review on Site-C.
“We can do that shortly after a cabinet is sworn in, and get going on making sure we have people in place to populate those commitments particularly on electoral reform. In terms of legislation, we’re going to table legislation to ban big money, and it appears we’ll have unanimous support,” Horgan said to the Vancouver Sun.